Tampa General Hospital announced Thursday it plans to resume elective surgeries on May 4, with strict safety guidelines.
For the past eight weeks, TGH has provided essential lifesaving care to COVID-19 positive and non-COVID infected patients. Now, TGH is ready to offer the same level of medical expertise to patients seeking elective surgeries and procedures; all with the highest level of patient and physician safety in place.
Elective surgeries include all nonemergency surgeries, including knee replacements, cataract surgery and some organ donations.
Ongoing safety measures at TGH include:
— Access to Tampa General Hospital remains limited so everyone who enters has their temperature taken and is screened for known COVID-19 symptoms.
— All new patients scheduled for surgery and other specific procedures are tested for COVID-19 48 hours before their procedure. Tampa General Hospital offers testing at the main campus and three TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track locations across Hillsborough County. Using in-house testing allows for quicker turnaround of results.
— All existing and new patients began receiving surveillance swab testing to identify potential asymptomatic carriage of COVID-19.
— Patients being treated for COVID-19 are isolated in a negative-pressure unit that is separate from other areas of the hospital.
— All visitors are restricted from entering the hospital, except for Pediatric cases and laboring mothers. Please visit the TGH website at tgh.org for real-time updates.
— All patients, team members, and physicians are required to wear a mask as a precaution.
— TGH has strict infection prevention protocols in place, including the use of UV disinfection (Tru-D technology) to clean all rooms where infectious disease patients are treated, including COVID-19 patients.
— All clinical teams are adhering to the infection prevention method of donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the first phase of the state’s reopening plan, which allows hospitals to provide additional services as long as they retain surge capacity in the event of a COVID spike, maintain adequate PPE materials for protection of workers and patients, and work proactively with long-term care facilities to prevent COVID outbreaks.
Tampa General Hospital President and CEO John Couris, who serves on the 22-member Executive Committee of the Re-Open Florida Task Force said, “Gov. Ron DeSantis has implemented a data-driven and thoughtful approach to keeping Florida families safe during these uncertain times. Now, it’s time to reopen. He’s taking a measured approach to reopening our state and getting people back to work while considering the health and wellness of those who are most vulnerable. We’re grateful to have had a seat at the table, and I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”
Calling the plan “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.,” DeSantis said, “Florida will take a step; small, deliberate, methodical and based on consultation with some of our greatest physicians toward a much more hopeful future.”
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,006-bed nonprofit academic medical center, delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the nation’s busiest organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.